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(Last Updated On: December 3, 2017)

Why Would We Sell There?

Boot sales are great places to pick items up from. It will be the most reliable treasure hunting source, if you have a regular one near to you. Not only is it great from a buying perspective; there are plenty of benefits for resellers to sell at them too.

Per season, I'll do one or two boot sales. This is to get rid of stock that either hasn't sold on eBay/Gumtree/elsewhere, is worth too little to list on those marketplaces, or doesn't fit neatly into a bundle. It's a purging session and frees up storage space for more valuable stock.


What Should I Sell?

First thing's first: diversifying your stock. The variety is attractive, as people will come to your stall to see if there are any items that others might have overlooked. People tend to appreciate when it looks like a genuine declutter, so things like books, DVDs and clothes are all expected.

Costume jewellery is a great draw. If you have any unwanted stuff around, stick it in a pot, and let people have a proper rummage.

Toys always pull kids in. Once their child has brought them to your stall (for a toy that their parents probably won't buy them), it's up to you to get the conversation rolling, to potentially sell something else.

It will work in your favour if you have a mix of higher and lower value items. I'd say 50p should be the minimum price, and you can stretch up to items worth £100. Anything of a higher value will probably be beyond your average buyer's wallet, at the time.


How Early Should I Get There?

A lot will come down to the volume and type of stock you have. If you know your items will sell without an issue, and you have a large supply, the longer you're there, the more money you'll get. For more general items, you can afford to come a little later than the experienced dealers, and still sell well.

Don't worry if it starts at 6am and you rock up at 8am. Don't bother if it ends at 1pm, if you think you'll get there by 11.30am.

It's a completely different story for buyers, as is advise that they get there sooner, to grab as many discounts as possible. The ones that get there at this time mob people as they set their tables up, and disorientated them with questions from all angles – usually resulting in you selling them something for too cheap. By avoiding this mad dash at the beginning, you lower the chance of losing control and getting pressured into underpricing.


What Tips Have You Got?

Selling at car boot sales requires a skill set that only frontline Black Friday retail staff have. However, I believe in you.

Here are some extra things to bear in mind:

Research prices beforehand. When I say “research”, I mean actually go to local boot sales first, and see how they prove things. eBay isn't an accurate reflection of what you might get back. The value of an item at a boot sale is completely different to other marketplaces. Charge more than 50p for a book (regardless of content and condition) and you're having a laugh.

Price high. You shouldn't expect eBay prices at a car boot, but you need to price higher than you're willing to see it go for, because many buyers will ask for a discount. Prepare yourself for those hagglers.

Bring a balanced cash float. £40 of notes and change tends to be enough, based on the type of items I've sold in the past. Ensure that you do actually have the cash, or you may

Bring a friend. A two-person boot sale is probably the optimal one for most. It gives you plenty of room in your car to fill with stock, and ensures that your stall has the resources to deal with a mob of people.

Remain vigilant. Back to the point about going with someone, you need to minimise the risk of thievery, scams (fake money) and attempts to test your mental arithmetic.

Look busy. When things go quiet and no one's at your stall, the secondary person can be there to create the illusion that there's something interesting going on. All they need to do is stand in front of the table and look at things, and others will soon follow suit.

Get an iZettle. If you're a car boot seller than accepts card payments, suddenly all of your items have shit up in value. Provided you can get signal, these free devices are a way to ensure you can close the deal for the higher value items.

Smile. Happy people sell.


27 / Nottingham, UK. Trying these things since 2007. Writing about these things since 2014. Doing this full-time since 2018.